That’s a wrap in Traverse City for Dallas Stars prospects. They concluded the NHL Prospect Tournament with a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers to finish in seventh place in the eight-team tournament.
The story of the night was forward Denis Gurianov (first round/2015) who scored three goals and rolled out a second straight excellent performance. Along with the three goals, Gurianov had five shots on goal and a plus-three rating. Roope Hintz (second round/2015) was excellent as well, assisting on two of Gurianov’s goals, putting five shots on goal and finishing a plus-three.
“What can you say about Roope and Denis the last two nights? That’s the hockey we need to see out of them consistently,” said Texas Stars coach Derek Laxdal, who coached Dallas prospects at the tournament in Traverse City.
I wrote about Gurianov’s game here on the official site.
Hintz, who was getting his first taste of the North American game at a very good level, showed improvement each game. He had three points (one goal, two assists) and a plus-five over the last two games. Gurianov was slow out of the gate, but he came on strong the last two games, recording four goals and a plus-five. He plays a solid overall game. He’s a good kid with a good attitude. Gurianov and Hintz were the guys you expected to lead the way for Dallas prospects, and they did in the end.
Forwards Nick Caamano (fifth round/2016) and Jason Robertson (second round/2017) both put up some points in the tournament, tying with Gurianov and Hintz for the team lead. All of them had four points. Caamano and Robertson both had their moments, but their points were on the quiet side compared to Gurianov and Hintz. You can see the offensive instincts in both Robertson and Caamano.
Forward Brett Davis (sixth round/2017) had one good game but was quiet for the most part. He’s still a young kid at his first tournament, so I don’t read a ton into his performance.
On the blue line, John Nyberg (sixth round/2014) might have been the Stars’ best defenseman. He had a rough first game but came on as the tournament progressed. He’s a solid defender, moves the puck well and isn’t afraid to jump up on the rush. He had two assists and a plus-three rating over four games.
Niklas Hansson (third round/2013) showed improvement over the course of the tournament. His minus-seven rating sticks out in not a good way, but most of that came in the first two games. He’s a crafty guy who moves the puck well. Still some work to do, but there’s potential there.
Gavin Bayreuther (free agent/2017) played well at times, but he had some bumps in the tournament. I mentioned yesterday that I liked his leadership qualities. I think he is captain material down the road. Laxdal talked about him after Tuesday’s game.
“I thought he was okay. I thought he tried to hang onto the puck a little bit too much at times. That comes with timing and confidence,” Laxdal said. “We put him in situations that he is uncomfortable in like penalty killing, which he doesn’t do a lot. We’re trying to grow his game a little bit. We know what he is and that is an offensive defenseman. We want to him get better defensively, work on his skating – working on his pivots, that backward and forward skating – and his puck battles.”
Ondrej Vala (free agent/2016) had some ups and downs including one very good game and one not so good game. Chris Martenet (fourth round/2015) missed the final two games of the tournament due to illness, so it was hard to get a read on him.
Goaltender Landon Bow (free agent/2017) had a rough first two games, but he played really well Tuesday in making 23 of 24 shots. That was a positive sign for him.
The Texas Stars signees at the tournament had good showings. Forwards Samuel Laberge and Sheldon Dries were stand outs to me. Laberge is an Antoine Roussel starter kit. He plays the agitator role well. He is tirelss out there and is fearless when it comes to blocking shots. Dries is a player. Works hard, does little things well. Consistent.
The box score and player stats from Tuesday’s game are here.